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I’ve been making this very stylized version of rosemary focaccia for a long time. It’s our favorite to serve with charcuterie platters! There is absolutely nothing better than a piece of this homey bread torn off and dunked into a dipping bowl of really good quality olive oil and cracked black pepper! We prefer the Cobram Estate Australian Select olive oil. It’s not only the most delicious olive oil to dunk your bread in, but it is now named the healthiest olive oil! Talk about a win-win situation, right?
Anyway, we always keep a couple of loaves in the freezer. When unexpected company drops by, it’s really easy to throw in the oven and put together a platter. (There’s always something in the fridge – meats, cheeses, veggies, olives, nuts.) Open a nice bottle of red wine to go with it. Life doesn’t get much better than friends and fabulous food! Except maybe on the (rare) cool night that we can all gather outside around the fire pit.
And IF there’s anything left over, you can cut the bread open, slather it with a beautiful sun-dried tomato pesto, and stuff it with the leftover meat, cheese, and veggies. Maybe even throw in some spinach and mushrooms. Wrap it in foil and toast it in the oven. Heaven!
What is Rosemary Focaccia?
Rosemary Focaccia is an Italian flatbread that has a variety of different uses. I proof it in bannetons instead of on a sheet pan or flattened out on parchment.
How do I make Rosemary Focaccia?
Rosemary Focaccia is not difficult to make, but it does take an entire day because of the proofing times. I like to do things a little differently than everybody else and make mine with my sourdough starter as my poolish. It lends some extra flavor and doesn’t require me to start it the night before I want to make bread. One of the more important things I do is once the ingredients are combined, I turn off the mixer, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rest for at least 10 minutes (sort of a short autolyse). I also turn my dough 3 times during the first hour of rising time and leave it alone after that.
Once the first proof (6 hours total time) is done, I turn the dough out, divide it, and place it in the bannetons. Then I enclose the bannetons in large plastic bags. I leave it to rise at room temperature for a couple more hours and then refrigerate overnight. This allows it to finish proofing and develop more flavor. (This is also the reason for the bannetons. It’s much easier to find a place for those in the refrigerator.) When I am ready to bake the next day, I turn them out and use a lame to slash the tops before sliding them into the oven.
How do I serve Rosemary Focaccia?
We usually serve Rosemary Focaccia with a charcuterie board and a bowl of good olive oil with cracked black pepper for dipping. It also makes a terrific sandwich! We make what I call a Leftover Sandwich using the leftovers from the charcuterie board along with sun-dried tomato pesto, spinach, and sometimes sliced mushrooms. Then wrap it in foil, heat it in the oven until the cheese is all melty, slice, and serve. It is messy! But it is so good!
Can I freeze Rosemary Focaccia?
Rosemary Focaccia freezes really well. Wrap each loaf tightly in foil and freeze. When you are ready to eat, place the still frozen, foil wrapped bread in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until it is thawed. Unwrap and allow to crisp up.
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This rosemary focaccia is crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. It absolutely melts in your mouth when dipped in olive oil!
- Prep Time: 10 hours
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 10 hours 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 loaves 1x
- Category: Breads
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian
3–1/8 cups all purpose flour
Scant Tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup loosely packed rosemary leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups sourdough starter, at room temperature
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Mix together. (Don’t skip this step.)
- Add rosemary leaves and yeast.
- Add water, olive oil and sourdough starter.
- Use a flat beater to combine ingredients. Stir only until mixed.
- Cover bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Use dough hook to mix until dough is smooth, about 5 or 6 minutes.
- Place dough in large lidded container that has been sprayed with cooking spray and snap on lid.
- Every 20 minutes for the first hour of rising time (at 20, 40, and 60 minutes), turn dough out onto a heavily flour surface and fold the top third of the dough in on itself. Fold the top third up. (like a letter) Repeat with short sides.
- Place seam side down back into prepared container.
- After this has been done three times, at 20, 40, and 60 minutes, leave the dough alone and let it continue to rise for 5 more hours.
- Turn the dough out onto floured surface and divide it in half using a bench knife.
- Round dough and place each piece in a floured banneton, either lined or unlined. Cover.
- Allow to rise for an additional 3 hours. (If it’s getting late, you can refrigerate at this point. Depending on how tired I am is how I decide which to do.)
- Turn shaped dough out onto a piece of parchment.
- Score the top.
- Use a peel or the back of a sheet pan to place dough on preheated stone in 450 degree oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until desired degree of doneness is reached. (If possible, fill the oven with steam while baking. You will be rewarded with a shinier, crisper crust.) After removing from oven, place bread on cooling racks.
To fill your oven with steam, place a cast iron pan on the rack under your stone and preheat with your stone. When you put your bread in the oven, throw a handful (or cupful) of ice into the cast iron pan. (Be careful of the steam!) Alternatively, you can spritz the oven with water (in a spray bottle) when you put your bread in.
- Serving Size: 1 loaf
- Calories: 1194
- Sugar: .8g
- Sodium: 3502mg
- Fat: 19g
- Saturated Fat: 3.5g
- Carbohydrates: 224.2g
- Fiber: 13.9g
- Protein: 30.1g
- Cholesterol: 0mg